Friday, December 08, 2006

Rules of life...

...if you live in a romantic comedy:
1. It always snows prettily in England at Christmas;
2. Everyone in England lives in a gorgeous big house, apart from people who live in gorgeous little country cottages;
3. Running is faster than going in a car, if you're in love;
4. All English people are very posh;
5. England and the UK are the same thing/the English flag is the Union Jack (these rules are interchangable);
6. Women never take their bra off when they have sex;
7. All sad single women play air guitar in their pyjamas;
8. The mobile will ring just when (a) you don't need it to, but (b) the story desperately needs it to;
9. Dogs know everything;
10. So do small girls with big brown eyes.

I just got back from seeing "The Holiday", written and directed by Nancy Meyers, and have rarely felt more manipulated by a film. "OK, let's tweak that emotional button up just a little bit, tug that heartstring, yep, that should have a few eyes watering." Could any more cliches have been jammed in there? I doubt it. The film is saved by the fact that the leads are good, Kate Winslett especially making her character utterly believable - and hats off to Jude Law for managing to keep a straight face whilst saying the line "I admit my package, in the clear light of day, might not look that good". Presumably the UK/US "countries divided by a common language" team were absent from script meetings. No doubt it will do very good business, it's a romcom and it's Christmas, and it has good box office names in it - although Ms Meyer makes it very clear by mentioning it twice in the script that the concentration on opening weekend box office figures is a very bad thing. Yes it probably is, but does anyone outside the industry care? It's by no means the worst romcom I've ever seen, but still, it left me wondering if maybe I'm just too cynical now (and probably left Nina wondering whether she wants to carry on going to the flicks with me).

I went back for another look at "Casino Royale" and Daniel Craig's exceptionally fabulous abs, oops, I mean, rather fine acting, and like POTC2 enjoyed it much more the second time around. I really have to switch my head round so that I do the "sit back and enjoy" thing the first time, and the analytic thing the second time I see a film.

I also saw my film for the first time. We have a cut of "Echoes", not quite finished as we need to do some stuff with the music, but it looks good. All that time setting up lighting and fiddling about with lenses paid off - Joe's cinematography is beautiful. The odd thing is that I watch it in two ways at the same time - the story still draws me in, but part of my brain is recalling the actual filming, and knowing what went into what ends up on screen. I need to see it with someone who wasn't there.


Blogger Optimistic_Reader said...

Thanks for that list Sal. Clearly the reason my romantic comedy outline eventually mutated into a 'dramedy' (as Billy Mernit might call it) is because it featured only one item in the list - to my shame, number 8. In my defence, it was only ever intended to get me from A to B on the outline, and I had no intention of including it in the actual script. I haven't thought of an alternative yet though.

Am I right in thinking you were planning on taking part in NanoWriMo? How did it go?

3:04 pm  
Blogger Stacie said...

How can I watch a RomCom set in England again? All my illusions are smashed. LOL!

11:17 pm  
Blogger Scribe LA said...

Thanks for the thoughts on The Holiday. Everyone seems to be echoing those same thoughts about its manipulation and cliche ridden script. It's like Nancy Meyers keeps trying to out schmaltz herself. I mean, the trailer for Something's Gotta Give was strong, but the movie is like a house of cards - no foundation.

6:33 pm  

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